Book Review: The Craving Brain

Title: The Craving Brain: Science, Spirituality and the Road to Recovery
Authors: Dr. W. Anderson Spickard, Jr., James B., Barbara Thompson
Review copy obtained through NetGalley

Can addiction be overcome?

The Craving Brain is an informative and hopeful response to the hopelessness that surrounds addiction. Co-authored by a doctor (and recognized addiction expert) and a recovered addict, it weaves science and stories to create a full picture of the addiction journey. 

From the risk factors and start of addiction through recovery and relapse, The Craving Brain lays out the facts, including the very real hope of recovery. With advice for addicts, family, and professionals, this book is an invaluable resource for everyone.

The authors think pretty highly of AA and NA, but they also suggest other recovery options and explain the principles of AA recovery that can be applied outside of the actual program.

The title includes “spirituality,” which could scare away some people, but the topic is handled with grace and tact. The authors are not pushing any specific religion and they have recommendations for how non-religious individuals can incorporate spirituality in recovery.

The Craving Brain includes plenty of scary stories, but they’re not used for shock value and they’re backed up with data. Alcoholism and addiction do lead to very real and serious consequences, but the authors are quick to explain that recovery is always an option.

Who should read it?

This is a must-read for everyone. In addition to obvious benefits for addicts, family members, and professionals, The Craving Brain should provides a base understanding of the complicated problem of addiction. With the consequences of addiction creating problems in nearly every community globally, every person needs this information.

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